Looking at the doubles draw of the German Open in Berlin I noticed that there are some (strange) new partnerships. I mean, we have Virginia Ruano-Pascual/Paola Suarez as No. 1 seed, they are well known but what comes then?
Have you ever looked at Kim Clijsters and thought she is a doubles specialist? She definitely is great in singles but she can play doubles as well. I just wouldn`t call her a doubles player. Do you understand what I mean?
Elena Dementiewa e. g. is No. 5 in doubles rankings at the moment. I personally consider her to be the typical singles player. It is strange to see her that high in the rankings in doubles.
I don`t want to offend anyone if I mentioned his/her favorite player. I only miss the time when we had real doubles specialists who played serve and volley and made doubles enjoyable to watch. I think of Gigi Fernandez/Natasha Zwerewa, Jana Novotna/Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, Martina Hingis/Anna Kournikova, Meredith McGrath/Larisa Neiland, Lindsay Davenport/Natasha Zwerewa, Martina Hingis/Jana Novotna e. g.!
Lindsay, Novotna, Sanchez-Vicario, Hingis are respectively were great singles champions but they are/were able to play doubles.
Today it seems that doubles matches are won from the baseline. Many players who never go to the net in singles like Dementiewa, Sugiyama, Mandula are very succesful in doubles matches.
Only some teams stay together for the whole season. I think that is the fact why many seeded teams look strange at the first time. Many doubles specialists split up e. g. Lisa Raymond/Rennae Stubbs to find another partner in great Singles players like Lindsay or Elena Bowina.
It is like ChrisGermany
said: Some doubles players seem to have accepted the fact of only four teams in LA and now try to have fun playing with different partners.
What do you think? Is the time of real doubles specialists over? Will we see more teams with a singles and a doubles specialist? How do you feel about that?